Five Takeaways: Park Hills Central Christmas Tournament
Posted On: 01/2/19 7:31 PM
Prep Hoops Missouri was in attendance at the final day of the Bob Sechrest Christmas Tournament at Park Hills Central High. Top-seeded Farmington defeated South Iron 64-60 in an exciting championship game. Hillsboro defeated Festus for third place while host Park Hills Central defeated Ste. Genevieve in the fifth place game.
Here are Five Takeaways from my evening in Park Hills, MO with an extra one thrown in
Farmington is big and solid
The Knights used their size and experience to withstand the speed, shooting and youth of a talented South Iron team to take its second championship in three years. The front line of 6’8″ 2010 Cole Laurence, 6’5″ Tycen Gray and 6’4″ Cole Gertstenberger all ate hearty in the paint. Gray scored 17 points while Laurence scored 14 points and Gerstengerger added 10 points..Gray is a bumper car performer in the paint and a ferocious rebounder while Laurence can score inside, but he also has a nice touch from the high post.
Little Brother Steals the Show
As dominant as Farmington’s inside trio was in the championship game, it was the lights out shooting of 6’3″ 2021 guard Brant Gray that sparked the Knights to the ultimate prize. The younger brother of standout forward Tycen Gray, young Brant knocked down six 3-pointers en route to a team-high 20 points. With South Iron starting the game in a 2-3 zone defense, Gray made four 3-pointers in the first quarter to help stake Farmington to a double-digit lead early. His last two 3-pointers were dramatic money shots in the game’s final minute, which answered big shots from South Iron standout Brock Wakefield which enabled the Knights to come away with the victory.
South Iron will be a force in Class 1 for years
South Iron is one of the youngest teams around the three freshman, two sophomores in their top six rotation, but they are a talented group that has been playing together since their early grade school days. They can light up the scoreboard with their shooting and they play a fast and furious pace that is fun to watch. Class of 2021 guard Brock Wakefield, 6’3″, scored a game-high 32 points in the championship game. His backcourt mate, 5’8″ 2022 guard had 19 points in the finals and 30 points in the semifinals against Hillsboro. Both are creative offensive players who can shoot the deep ball and create off the dribble. Talented 6’0″ 2022 guard D.J. Prater is a talented lefty who can slash to the bucket and shoot the 3-pointer.
Breven McMullen is a baller
One of the brightest talents in the tournament and in St. Francois County is the 6’5″ 2020 wing, who put up some big numbers during the tournament. He scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the fifth place win over Ste. Genevieve. He also scored 42 points in a victory over rival North County during the tournament. Breven entered high school as a knock down shooter who could rebound at a high rate. He has continued to develop his perimeter skills to make him a matchup nightmare. He handles the ball well, and possesses a nice mid range jumper off the bounce or in the post
Hillsboro is capable of making some noise
The Hawks finished 3-1 in the tournament and took home the third-place trophy with an impressive victory over Jefferson County rival Festus. Baseball standout Michael Brewer continued his excellent play with 22 points to lead the way. The 6’5″ Brewer is a load in the paint, but he can also step out and shoot jumpers and put the ball on the floor. He is also an explosive athlete who can rise up and dunk on you. The backcourt duo of 5’9″ 2019 sharpshooter Sam Lampkins and 5’8″ 2020 point guard Mark Moore really compliments each other. There is additional help on the way with brothers 6’7″ Evan Worley and 6’1″ Ethan Worley coming over from Windsor. They will be eligible to play next week.
One of the best environments in the state
The T.J. Foulon Fieldhouse at Park Hills Central is a tremendous venue to watch a high school basketball game. It’s capacity is more than 2,000 and there is not a bad seat in the house. The gym has an old school feel and when it is full, it gets very, very loud. It was a Standing Room Only crowd with people four to five deep along the railings, which made for an incredible environment for high school basketball fans.